By: Terry Foster
@terryfoster971

The bad news came from Facebook messenger. One of my best childhood friends Lamont Price died last month after suffering two strokes around the same time I had my strokes.

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His sister Donna believes Lamont gave up on life after his mother died and he lost his job. The fight left Lamont and my childhood pal died at age 57. My fight and will to live has been challenged, but it has not been defeated. I do not know what type of strokes he suffered or how severe they were. I do not know what type of treatment Lamont received. However, the one advantage I have is there are people in my life that I love and I do not want to leave them.

I love my wife Abs and children Celine, 17, and Brandon, 15, who depend on me and need a father for as long as possible. I am motivated by hundreds of people who’ve told me their stories of battling heart disease, stroke and cancer. I want them to know that you give yourself a better chance if you eat properly, exercise and visit your doctor.

I want to do it for a guy I met in the gym named Mike who lost his dad at age 56 from a stroke and he said that I served as an inspiration to him and his family. He also told me how much he misses his dad. I do not want Celine and Brandon telling similar stories to their friends.

That is why this daily fight is not just about me. It is one reason why I do three miles a day on the treadmill, enjoyed a dinner of salmon, salad and green beans last night and gave up drinking pop.

In three months I’ve gone from 224 pounds to 184 pounds. My A1C blood sugar, which needs to below 7.0 is now 5.0 and my blood pressure hovers around 135. Doctors want it to be between 130 and 150 to keep blood flow steady in my brain. I have returned to my radio show, the Valenti and Foster Show on 97.1 The Ticket.

I am just starting to feel comfortable doing the show and am often exhausted after four hours of arguing with Mike, Sully and Hatchet. My boss asked me last week if I was having fun doing the show. The answer was no, but today I look forward to the show because I feel better about myself.

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Returning was more difficult than I thought it would be, but I believe I have turned a corner.

I am in lockdown mode because I want to get better and survive. I totally get the mentality the University of Michigan men’s basketball team reached after skidding off the runway at Willow Run Airport. When you feel something as precious as your life was threatened you view things in a different way. The game is not as important, so you enjoy things more and play and live with a different mindset.

I felt I skidded off a runway too, but was lucky enough to survive. I cannot tell you how often I sat in that hospital room thinking I’d never work again or lead a normal life. But doctors said to keep looking forward and to forget the past. My motto became “I believe in tomorrow.”

Most of the time tomorrow was a better day than today.

The downside is I have withdrawn from society. Part of it is I am a different person. I am more introverted and quiet. My wife said this is not the man she married and encourages me to go out more. I stay home because I do not want to return to bad habits. However, she worries about my mental health because one of the possible side effects of stroke is depression. We all need outlets and burgers, pizza and beer are encouraged in moderation.

I have been invited to a birthday party on Friday. I will go. I plan on going somewhere to watch the NCAA semifinal games Saturday night. I need some fun to help heal the mind. I might even do a shot, but please understand why I won’t do two or three.

I will also attend the Detroit Free Press Film Festival at the Emagine Theater Saturday for a documentary on Detroit’s original sports bar, the Lindell A.C. where I worked along with my mother. I plan to socialize and swap stories on one of the former iconic places in Detroit where sports celebrities mingled with regular folks. The show begins at 1 p.m.

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If you see me say “hi.” It is part of my rehab to become a more complete person, dad and worker. I might not be the same person you knew, but I’m working on it for my family and Lamont’s memory.